10 spiritual meanings of dreaming about someone dying

So you’ve dreamt that someone has died? Don’t panic! 

It’s unlikely you’ve had a premonition that you need to warn people about…  

What’s more, you’re not the only one to have had a death dream! These dreams are far more common than you probably think.

When it comes to the possible meanings behind death dreams, there is no shortage of spiritual symbols behind them. But what are they?

Here are 10 spiritual meanings behind dreaming about someone dying.

1) It symbolizes change in your life 

If you’re dreaming about someone dying, it could be happening because a big change is happening in your life

You see, our dreams are a space for us to process life and the complex emotions of our waking lives…

…So if there’s a lot of change going on, it’s going to affect your dreaming state!

Dreams about death can happen around the time that you’re transitioning into another job or industry, if you’re moving house or if you’re going through a breakup.

In other words, these sorts of dreams happen when it’s the end of an era and massive change is afoot.

I first experienced the death dream around the time of my breakup. 

I would wake up feeling like dreaming about death was the last thing I needed at the time…

…But it was just my mind’s way of processing the traumatic event.

Now, what’s odd was that the first death dream I had wasn’t dreaming about my newly-ex-boyfriend’s death.

Instead, I dreamt that his grandad had died!

At first, I wondered if I’d had a premonition about his death and I even thought about warning my ex-boyfriend.

However, I came to learn that dreaming about death is just what happens during masses of change in your life…

…And it doesn’t suggest that someone is actually going to die but it is symbolic of the death of life as you know it!

Looking back, I now see the dream as something symbolic to suggest the end of my relationship with his family.

2) You need closure 

Along with change, needing closure is a reason that people experience death dreams. 

You see, the dream I had about my ex-boyfriend’s grandad dying wasn’t the only death dream I had around that time.

I had dreams about random people dying… Even people I’d never met before!

Simply put, I went to more funerals in my dreams than I’d ever been to in my waking life. 

In all honesty, it was quite stressful having these dreams so frequently…

…And waking up without feeling rested!

But the reason they were happening was because I hadn’t settled things in my waking life.

Truth is, I was lacking closure about the situation around my breakup.

I felt like we never really had a conversation around what had happened or why it had happened. It always felt… undone.

And my subconscious knew this, which is why it played out like this for me at night!

After being honest with myself and coming to terms with the fact that closure was what I needed, I met up with my ex-boyfriend to have a proper conversation.

Only then, I was able to accept the situation for what it was and to have some actual closure…

…And the death dreams stopped.

3) It could signal that you’re struggling to let go 

Not being able to let go of something is another reason you might be having dreams about death.

It could be that you’re struggling to let go of the fact you no longer hang out with certain people anymore, that you no longer live in the area you used to, or that you no longer like something you used to love.

Simply put, it could be anything big or small that is significant to you!

There’s a chance that you might not be aware of how much you are holding on to something and making it a part of your identity…

…Until you start having these dreams!

You see, death dreams can symbolize that it’s OK to let go and allow that part of you to die.

It’s not a bad thing at all when you have these sorts of dreams.

In fact, it’s quite life-affirming!

4) You’re about to have a spiritual awakening

Death dreams almost certainly happen around the times of spiritual awakenings.

You see, spiritual awakenings are huge times of change…

…It is quite literally a portal for change.

A spiritual awakening is defined as the time when you come to terms with the fact you are not just a body and that there is more than meets the eye to your existence!

During the time of your spiritual awakening, you’ll likely start to experience the death of yourself or loved ones as a symbolization of your own ego death.

Don’t be scared if you experience this!

Here’s the thing:

When we go through spiritual awakenings, our egos die!

It’s the part of us that is motivated by things like fame, wealth, and more stuff.

You see, it has to die as we move towards a more spiritual path.

In my experience, the two can’t coexist very well together…

…So, if you really want to embark on a spiritual path, you have to get comfortable with not clinging on to all of the things you’re told to chase!

5) It could suggest that you’re forgetting about something 

There’s a chance that the reason you’re dreaming about death could be to do with the fact you’re forgetting about something.

It could be that you’re not giving enough attention to a part of yourself or that you’re actually forgetting to do something you said you would do.

I had death dreams around the time that I wasn’t giving myself the sort of self-care I needed, and I wasn’t fulfilling my promises to people. 

Simply put, I was neglecting myself and letting other people down.

During this time, my energy was just super focused on my work to the point where I wasn’t connecting with myself or others!

What does this mean for you?

The best thing to do is to journal your thoughts and ask yourself a series of questions to work out whether you might be doing the same.

For instance:

  • What am I neglecting?
  • Have I made promises to people that I’ve not been fulfilling?
  • Is there something I should be doing?

This simple exercise will help you decipher whether this could be the reason you’ve been having this type of dream!

6) You’re dealing with someone who’s near death

A reason that death is showing up in your dreams could be because someone in your life is near death.

While many of the reasons that we dream of death are purely symbolic of different things, there’s a chance that you could be dreaming of death because someone is actually close to passing over.

Maybe you have a loved one who is sick, an elderly grandparent, or a pet that is nearing the end of their lives.

Simply put, it could be that you’re dealing with someone who’s near death.

Caretakers in nursing homes, for instance, are said to have dreams about death because they spend a lot of time with people who are about to pass away. 

Now, it doesn’t mean that you’re actually going to be dreaming of that particular person or pet dying…

…It could be that you’re dreaming of someone random dying. However, it actually represents someone that you know is close to death.

The dream is just a projection of what you’re fearing in your waking life, so just relax into knowing that it’s normal to be thinking about it at night!

7) You’re in a bad situation 

Death dreams can be considered warning signs if you’re in a bad situation.

Let’s take a relationship as an example: 

If you know you’re in a ‘toxic’ situation where you and your partner are no good for one another, there’s a chance that the motif of death is going to creep up in your dreams.

By no means does this mean that anyone is going to be killed, but it can symbolize that things really are toxic…

…And that they need to be addressed!

Thinking about yourself or your partner being killed in this context could symbolize that the other person is killing your spirit.

For instance, you might be feeling like they’re squashing you and making you feel flat because they knock you down instead of building you up.

Now, if you’re wondering whether this might be the case or not, it’s important to pay attention to how you’re feeling in your waking life.

Ask yourself:

  • How do the people around me make me feel?
  • Do I feel like I have healthy relationships with people?
  • Does anything feel like it is ‘off’ for me?

These questions will help you get clarity on whether this is what your dream could be symbolizing! 

8) Your feelings towards someone have changed 

There’s a chance that you’re dreaming about someone specifically dying because your feelings towards them have changed.

I had this with a friend, who I began drifting away from.

As my feelings about the relationship shifted and I started to reframe what she meant to me, she cropped up in my dream.

I imagined that I let go of a rope and she fell to her death off a cliff.

I won’t lie: it was a pretty intense dream! 

Now, I came to realize that it didn’t mean I wanted to kill her (thankfully!), but that the dream symbolized our relationship changed.

It was quite literally the dramatic end to what once was.

You see, this sort of dream signals that your subconscious recognizes that the version of what you two had is no longer.

9) You’re feeling powerless

If you’re feeling like you’re powerless in your waking life, death could be showing up in your dreams.

Let me explain:

If you weren’t able to prevent someone dying in your dream – but instead, you watched it happen and felt helpless – it could signal that you’re lacking power. 

For instance, maybe you’re feeling like you’re not making an impact in your waking life in the way you want to, or you’re giving something all you have!

I experienced death dreams during the time I wasn’t speaking up at work and allowing myself to be heard.

Simply put, I wasn’t stepping into my true power, and I was keeping myself small…

…And these were thoughts that I was having regularly in my waking life, so it was no surprise that they were showing up in my dreams!

So what does this mean for you?

Look closely at the patterns in your thoughts each day; if you’re feeling a sense of powerlessness in a situation, it could be causing your dreams to take this path! 

10) You’re worried about losing someone 

You could be dreaming about the death of someone because you’re actually worried about losing someone.

Now, it doesn’t mean you’re worried about losing this specific person to death.

Instead, you might be worried that you’re going to lose this person out of your life for good. 

There’s a chance you might start having these dreams if you’re having relationship struggles and you feel like you know where things are headed.

A friend of mine told me that she started having the recurring dream that her then-boyfriend had died tragically…

…And the dream wouldn’t seem to disappear!

She was pretty freaked out by the fact she was having these dreams, and she even thought there was something wrong with her!

You see, she described these dreams as being stuck on a loop each night. She kept having the same recurring dream.

Can you guess what I’m about to say?

It was during the time that they were arguing a lot, and things were generally pretty tough between them.

She was in a state of wondering whether they were going to make it through or not, as the arguments were just so all-consuming.

Simply put, in her waking life, she was concerned that the relationship wasn’t going to last and that she was going to lose him…

…And this processing carried through to her dream.

Once she realized this, she stopped thinking there was something wrong with her psyche!

You see, our dreams really are a place for us to make sense of all of our thoughts in our waking lives.

There’s nothing to be afraid of if you’re dreaming about death…

…In fact, we should be grateful that our subconscious puts in so much work to try and work things out as we sleep!

What does it mean to save someone from dying in a dream?

So we’ve looked at various spiritual meanings of dreaming about someone dying…

…But what does it mean to save someone from dying in a dream?

One author explains: 

“Dreaming of saving someone from death is a powerful symbol of protection. It can express a deep desire to help or rescue someone from a difficult situation and signal personal distress.” 

In other words, if the person you’ve saved is going through something difficult in real life, it signals that you have a desire to pull them out of this situation.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had this type of dream numerous times during times when I’ve wanted the person to overcome a tricky situation.

These dreams offered me a sense of comfort where I felt like I was doing something to help them.

But, in the same breath, the author explains:

“However, failing to save someone is your subconscious mind trying to show you something else. Not all situations can be controlled, and it is important to accept uncertainties. It can be difficult to face challenges, but understanding you are sometimes powerless can bring peace of mind.”

Truth is, we can’t always help the people we love in the ways we’d like to.

Simply put, we can only do our best to offer support in the ways we can, but we need to accept life’s uncertainties. 

What does it mean when you dream about the death of a family member?

Whether it’s a family member or someone you don’t know, the meaning behind a death dream can be varied.

It’s almost impossible to confirm what the meaning could be behind a death dream because it can be so cryptic…

…And random!

In an Ideapod article about the spiritual meaning behind dreaming of someone’s death, Daniela Duca Damian emphasizes that each death dream has a slightly different meaning depending on the context.

She explains:

“In conclusion, there are a lot of different meanings for death and someone dying in your dreams.

“Of course, different dreams have different meanings. However, you can use your dream interpretation abilities to get to the bottom of these questions.

“You can do this by asking yourself questions, interpreting the imagery in your dreams, and interpreting the symbolism in your dreams.

“Thinking about these things will help you get answers to these important questions.”

This is where journaling comes in:

Getting into daily journaling is a great idea to help you unpick the thoughts in your waking life.

In my experience, it pays to be consistent with your journaling practice and to set aside time to return to your journal each day.

What’s more, having a dream journal is a great tool to help you look at the symbols that are recurring in your dreams.

In other words, you can start to notice recurring patterns that are showing up for you…

…And it might help you with clarity you didn’t realize you needed!

What does it mean when you dream about the death of a deceased person?

You might find it confusing if you end up dreaming of the death of someone who’s already passed.

It seems like such an illogical dream to have, but it’s possible that your mind might take you here!

So what could it mean?

One author explains: 

“Sometimes, dreaming about death or talking to a deceased person foretells a season of transformation coming into your life. This transformation could encompass your workplace, family, or relationships.

“These changes may also occur internally. This is a good sign. It means you are ready to forgive yourself and reconcile with your past. It means you are willing to learn from your mistakes and forge a new path.”

In other words, even though it might seem like a pretty dark and unusual dream, it can have a powerful meaning!

I suggest you take note of any dreams like this in your dream journal…

…Paying close attention to any recurring motifs or themes that are coming up within these dreams.

Who knows, it might be symbolizing that a big transformation is on its way to you!

Truth is, it’s up to you to decode the meanings that are layered in these dreams.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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